Rogers addresses children’s issues in House

NDP CYFS Critic Gerry Rogers

NDP Child, Youth and Family Services Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says government’s decision to privatize some youth care services is badly planned, haphazardly implemented, and working against the best interests of the children affected. She says a similar problem exists with the scheduled closure of an elementary school in her district.

“Last night I attended a meeting initiated by the parents of Holy Cross Elementary concerned about the closing of their school. Students are to be moved from their school of 130 students to a school of more than 500 with room for 700,” Rogers said in the House of Assembly today. “I ask the minister, will he reconsider the closure of this fantastic community school? Will the minister meet with the parents?”

Rogers then turned to Child, Youth and Family Services which is changing the way it cares for children with challenging needs.

“The minister has chosen a private for-profit corporation to care for the province’s most vulnerable children, letting go 45 experienced staff with hundreds of thousands of hours of experience in favour of inexperienced staff making $13 an hour, ” Rogers said in the House of Assembly. “As a former board member of one of these well-established homes, does he think this is in the best interests of these children?”

Rogers says the youth in Burin and Grand Falls-Windsor will be moved before school is out and do not yet know where they are going or who will care for them. Youth in Stephenville will move by May 19, but the house purchased has not received municipal approvals, nor been renovated and furnished.

“What is the plan for these youth? When will the young people be told what’s to become of them?” Rogers asked.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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